How to customize the navigation bar on Android

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Table of Contents

The navigation bar is a fundamental element of the Android interface. With it, it is possible to go back and return to the previous screen, return to the start or quickly switch between open applications. If you want to customize this element to your liking, in this article we explain how to do it in different ways.

Switch the navigation bar for full screen gestures

The easiest way to customize the navigation bar is replacing it with gesture navigation, included natively in Android 10 and later versions. To activate it, you just have to go to the phone settings and open the section System. On some devices, this option is found in the section Display.

System settings on Android

Then click Gestures.

Open gesture settingsOpen gesture settings

Opens System Navigation.

System navigationSystem navigation

Select the first option, Gesture navigation.

Activate Android 10 gesturesActivate Android 10 gestures

At the end of this process, the navigation bar will have been replaced by a small horizontal line that serves as a guide to correctly perform gestures. If you want to go backwards, swipe from either of the two side edges of the screen. On the contrary, if you want to go to the beginning, swipe up from the bottom edge and, in case you want to see recent applications, stop in the middle of the panel.

Change the look of the navigation bar with Navbar Apps

If you don’t want to use gesture navigation or you have a version older than Android 10, Navbar Apps is an application that allows you to fully customize this element of the interdaz.

Once you have installed it, you must open it and configure it. Press Let’s do it! to get started.

Launch Navbar Apps setupLaunch Navbar Apps setup

Now, activate the option Allow display over other apps.

Allow overlayAllow overlay

Then, this tool will take you to the accessibility settings. Enable the Navbar Apps service by tapping on Navbar Apps and, on the next screen, clicking on Use service.

8 Start accessibility service8 Start accessibility service

Once this is done, open the application again and you can start customizing your navigation bar. First of all, you can define the background color you want. Do it by clicking on Static Color.

Change colorChange color

Also, you can use a custom background or the remaining battery percentage. Do it by enabling one of the two functions that you see in the image.

Battery percentage and custom backgroundsBattery percentage and custom backgrounds

Add emojis to your navigation bar easily by activating the emojis function. To customize the emojis that will be displayed, click on the gear icon.

Emojis in the navigation barEmojis in the navigation bar

Finally, you can make your navigation bar move to the rhythm of the music that plays on your terminal. To do this, activate Music widget.

Music widget on the navigation barMusic widget on the navigation bar

As you can see, each functionality has its own settings. It is a very intuitive app so, in a short time and in a simple way, you can have a completely unique navigation bar.